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Great Indoors

It’s not easy to transform a 15-foot-wide building site—wedged between houses in every direction—into a home that feels more spacious than its location allows. Mamm-design’s solution was to dedicate two-thirds of this tiny 653-square-foot house in Tokyo to a 20-foot-high garden room to bring a sense of the outdoors in. A centrally positioned evergreen ash anchors the airy terrace, which is paved with complementary gray bricks. The kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and workspace are all connected to the central space, transforming the covered veranda into a surrealistic theatrical setting for day-to-day life.

Pairing living flora amidst stark concrete and devoting most of the essential 653-square-foot interior to a garden space, architect Akira Mada's Minna no le (meaning Everyone's House) is a functioning contradiction.

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